Saturday, October 29, 2016

All Other Ground is Sinking Sand

Luke 6:47-49

47 Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like:
48 He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.
49 But he that heareth, and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth; against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.

In this parable, there are two different houses, two different foundations, and two different men. In this passage of scripture Jesus divides the whole world into two groups of people: The Wise and the foolish. The Lord is showing us that it is up to us which category we fall into, it’s a choice. No one is born with the predisposition to be a fool, and no one is born with the predisposition to be wise.
This parable is a teaching of contrasts and variables, but one thing is the same: the storm. It is clear from this story that storms come to everybody. Regardless of how well prepared you are, storms are going to come into your life.

I live in South Mississippi and there is no doubt as to whether we are going to have storms, we are. The only questions are when, how big, and how much damage will the storm cause. Some have had the advantage of the daylight hours and have been able to see the storm coming and could brace for it, or get out of the way. But for others there was no warning, they went to bed and woke up to the sound of a powerful storm ripping their house apart. In the morning light all that remains are the broken shattered pieces of a life that used to be, a home that used to be

The same can be said of the storms of life that people face every day. Many of them could have been predicted, but some of them come on us while we were sleeping and they left destruction in their path. A marriage that used to be beautiful, a body that used to be healthy and strong, a family that used to be close, that used to love each other, a mind that used to be clear and sharp uncluttered by drugs and alcohol, or a retirement plan that used to exist but got blown away by the storm. And it all happened without warning it happened while they were sleeping.

I wonder how many storms could have been avoided had we not been sleeping. I know some storms are unavoidable, but there are some storms that could be avoided if we would just wake up. God didn’t intend for marriages to end in divorce. All financial struggles don’t have to end with bankruptcy. A lot of things happen in our lives simply because we are asleep, we’re not watching, we’re not paying attention.

I Thessalonians  5:7- For they that sleep, sleep in the night; and they that be drunken are drunken in the night.

Samson is a great example of what I am saying. Samson didn’t have to have his eyes punched out, he didn’t have to suffer humiliation and play the part of a fool and a slave in a Philistine prison. This was a storm he could have avoided.

Samson’s problem was that he was sleeping when he should have been praying, sleeping when he should’ve been meditating upon the word of God, sleeping when he should’ve been listening to the anointed word of God, taking notes and making preparation to build his foundation. Samson was sleeping while the storm was brewing. Samson closed his eyes to the obvious threat around him and pretended everything was all right, when he knew in his heart it was all wrong.

I’m trying to warn somebody today: you’re about to head into a storm! I know some storms are unavoidable, but there are some storms that you don’t have to go through. Some of you are in storms right now that you didn’t have to go through, hell you didn’t have to go through, heartbreak you didn’t have to experience. These are storms that are the product and the fruit of fleshly desires and decisions.

Sampson’s life was a series of storms, tragedies, loss, heartbreak, and every one of them was a product of his own self-will and actions birthed out of the desires of his flesh. We’ve all been there, and no one can point a self-righteous finger, especially not me, without pointing at yourself first. We’ve all blown it. We’ve all moved in the flesh. We’ve all ignored wise counsel, and did what we wanted to do. And like Sampson we found ourselves in a storm.

Then are the storms that you cannot predict. They are spiritual in design and origin. And if you are seeking to live a holy life, they are unavoidable. These storms are not the result of carnal choices; they are the product of a satanic conspiracy. These storms are designed to destroy your faith, and to take you out. They are fiery furnaces designed, formed, and created for the sole purpose of destroying your life.

Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace was supposed to prove publicly that the faith of the three Hebrew children was worthless; it was his intention to publicly humiliate the testimony and the confession of these three children of faith. That’s the purpose of these spiritual storms; that’s the reason that they come. They come to humiliate you, to ridicule you, and to destroy your faith in God. The devil wants to put you on display in front of the world, and to proclaim, “They couldn’t make it, and neither will you! I destroyed them, and I’ll destroy you too!

The sad truth is, many in the church that have been blown away by the storms. Why? Because they built their house on the sand. They went to church, they heard the preacher, they shouted, they danced, they even paid their tithes, but they built their house on the sand.

Sand represents that which is moving, shifting, changing, and unstable. They built on their religious affiliation, good deeds, morality, legal righteousness, or wisdom and knowledge. All of these are mere sand, moving and shifting with the rising tide. No wonder the songwriter said, “On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand. All other ground is sinking sand!”

Jesus reveals that when the house is destroyed in the storm, the foundation is the problem. Everything depends on your foundation, and this is where so many people miss it. They want to build something that looks nice and that they can be proud of, and that will impress others. They want the anointing and they want to minister. They want to preach, they want to teach, sing, or evangelize. They want big houses, fancy cars, reputation, and popularity. They put all of their energy into what you can see, and they fail to build a strong foundation.

Jesus said: The wise man dug down deep and laid his foundation on the rock. The wise man understands, that the most important thing in his house is the foundation. The wise man is more concerned with what others cannot see, than what they can see. Jesus spent 30 years of his life laying a foundation for a three-and-a-half-year ministry.

We know Jesus was born, we saw him at 12 years of age in the temple, but we know nothing of his life up until he was 12 and we know nothing of his life after 12 years old until he started his open ministry at 30 years of age. What was Jesus doing in all those silent years? He was building; he was laying the foundation for his ministry.

Jesus was teaching us how to build our lives. In Matthew 6:1-8 Jesus taught us to do our praying in secret in the closet, to do our alms between ourselves and God, to fast secretly unto the Lord, not seeking attention from others. This is the foundation, then He told us that once we have done these things secretly, our father, God, will reward us openly.

The wise men dig down deep, he was willing to invest time and effort in building a good foundation. Laying the foundation for a successful life is hard work. Anyone can shout, dance, and run, but it’s hard sometimes to shout and dance, and holler when you’re digging and hitting rocks and roots and getting things out of the way that are unstable, undependable, shifting and loose.

The wise man digs down deep. You have got to dig down past your feelings, your emotions, popular opinion, religious pedigree, head knowledge, and second hand revelation. You cannot build your life on who others says that Jesus is, you’ve got to know him for yourself.

To many who know me now it may look like I got it all together, but that don’t mean I’ve never been through a storm. I try to write words of encouragement and blessing that will lift you up, but that don’t mean I have never been down. My blog entries are long, so I don’t have time to write about all the storms I’ve been through in my life. Some I could have avoided and some I couldn’t, but the most important point I want to get through today is this: I’m still standing!

I took a good hit, but I’m still standing. It was a bad storm, but I’m still standing. I lost some stuff I thought I couldn’t live without, but I’m still standing. It blew some people away that I thought were my friends, but I’m still standing. Sometimes it felt like the storm would never end, but I’m still standing.

How do you make it through the storm of sickness? How do you make it through the storm of the loss of a loved one? How do you make it through broken relationships and through the storm of divorce? How do you make it when everything you love and hold dear is taken from you?

The secret is: Dig past everything and ever body else, until you find the ROCK! Dig past your church, dig past your religion, dig past your emotions, dig past your feelings, dig past all opinions until you hit the ROCK. Do whatever you have got to do to find God, His name is Jesus, and take the time to discover who He is.

1 comment:

  1. At some point man stops building and simply lives. Resting from his labor he gets blindsided. Depending on the magnitude of threat and level of preparation he endures to the end. Often there is rebuilding, refortification even surrender, but one thing remains...his true and meaningful relationship with the God of all creation. His foundation and rock is only as secure as his hold.